Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlighting the challenges unpaid carers face and recognising the valuable contribution they make to families and communities.
The West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (WY HCP) is using Carers Week to reach the estimated 400,000 unpaid carers across West Yorkshire. They will be highlighting a different theme during each of the seven days.
An unpaid carer cares for family or friends who have a disability, illness or who needs support in later life: washing them, doing their laundry, their dishes, keeping appointments and records, filling forms, and dealing with a range of health of health professionals.
On the launch of carers week (Monday 6 June) the focus will be on the health and social care issues affecting carers, as they have been impacted hard by the pandemic. Throughout the week they will also be recognising and celebrating the incredibly valuable contribution that carers make.
With only 50,000 registered unpaid carers (with their local GP surgery) across West Yorkshire - there is a real need to encourage more people to identify so they can get the support they need when living across Bradford District and Craven, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield District.
Resources made alongside local carers will be made available online. These include a young carer education pack and a ‘Working Carers Passport’ guide for managers. The ‘Message in a Bottle’ Lions Charity International initiative will also be available to local carers.
You can follow all the activity during the week by following @WYpartnership or visit the website where you can find all the resources and details of your local carer organisation.
Fatima Khan-Shah leads the unpaid carers programme and is an Associate Director at the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership said “Carers Week is a fantastic opportunity to recognise the contribution of all carers from different backgrounds and ages to their families and local communities, workplaces and society. Caring impacts on all aspects of life from relationships to health and finances and without the right information and support can be incredibly tough, so please do contact your local carer organisation.”
Richard Parry, a Senior Responsible Officer for the unpaid carers programme and Strategic Director Adults and Health at Kirklees Council said “At the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership we do not underestimate the challenges of caring - because we work with you and listen to your experiences. Our message to local unpaid carers this ‘Carers Week’ is we see you; we hear you and we are working hard to support you. We hope during the week we are able to raise much needed awareness and recognise the valuable contribution local carers make.”
Jan Archbold an older carer from Wakefield who has made a video in support of Carers Week said “You have to look after yourself. I have learned so much from other carers, living the same life I live. Please don’t be on your own, get peer support. You learn from each other, get some relief and have fun.”